Christmas is coming, and the books are getting fat – with expectations that kindly language learners will come along and buy them.
A strained metaphor, I’ll admit. But if you’re still searching for that special Christmas gift for the linguist in your life – even if that happens to be you – then 2022 saw a few new and updated titles from language course publishers that have always been good to us.
Here are some of my favourite stocking fillers of the year.
Ever a mainstay of self-paced language learning, Routledge released a welcome new edition of Colloquial Irish this year. For sure, that made for a quieter year than 2021, which saw new Chinese, Hebrew and Zulu editions, but it’s nonetheless great to see the Irish course with a new lick of paint. MP3 listening material for all courses is available online, too, if you fancy a taster of what they have to offer.
In other news, the publisher also released a couple of brand new titles in its Comprehensive and Essential Grammar series. What makes this particularly exciting for polyglots and language aficionados is the off-the-beaten-track nature of the languages themselves.
Principally, the recently extinct Máku language of Venezuela and Brazil now has a Comprehensive Grammar thanks to the hugely important work of researchers working with the last two speakers. It’s an incredible opportunity to explore a linguistic heritage very nearly lost forever. In the Essential series, Filipino now counts amongst the ranks, along with a brand new edition of the Hindi grammar.
It’s been a busy year for Teach Yourself with Olly Richards’ growing set of graded readers. There’s been a flurry of updates and new editions, with Irish added to the beginners’ range (Irish learners are particularly lucky this year, it seems). Japanese gets the intermediate treatment, while Italian and Spanish get a whole new volume of beginners’ stories. All very welcome Christmas stocking fodder.
In Three Months
2022 also saw the reissue of some familiar old friends of the language learning world. In January, DK freshened up its in Three Months range with smart new typesetting and jackets. Under the Hugo banner for several decades, the courses are still solid introductions or refreshers, now with free online audio. And they look pretty nifty in their new clothes – not the most important aspect of course, but we do love a smart new book!
These days, the DK in Three Months range now focuses on a few mainstream learning languages rather than the original Hugo set (which you still pick up for a steal at second-hand outlets). These new editions are available in colourfully-bound Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish versions.
What a great little cache of 2022 releases, for Christmas or otherwise. Which titles have I missed? Leave your language learning gifting ideas in the comments!